Motorists sue over 2-hour traffic stop after bank robbery in Aurora in 2012

AURORA, Colo. - Motorists who were detained at an Aurora intersection for more than two hours while officers attempted to catch a bank robber have sued the city for violating their Fourth Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure.

The suit was filed Friday in federal district court on behalf of 14 plaintiffs, some of whom were approached at gunpoint by police at the intersection of Iliff Avenue and Buckley Road, handcuffed and made to wait for two hours while the scene was cleared.

"They had no probable cause to pat my clients down and then handcuff them when they found that they had no weapons," said David Lane, the attorney representing the group. "This was overreaching."

He said police should have used more precise location tracking technology to pinpoint the location of Christian Paetsch, the man eventually convicted and imprisoned in the robbery of a Wells Fargo branch June 2, 2012.

Hidden in the stolen money was a GPS tracking device that brought officers to the busy intersection but was unable to provide vehicle-by-vehicle location information.

To surround 19 cars stopped at a light and detain 28 occupants in those vehicles in an attempt to find a robbery suspect violated the motorists' Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure and excessive force, Lane said.

Police Chief Dan Oates says his officers acted reasonably.

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